North Korea and Cuba have agreed to strengthen their relations to reject United States' "unilateral and arbitrary" demands. Reports state that North Korea's foreign minister flew to Cuba to present a united front against "US imperialism" amidst rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang over the latter's increasing nuclear ambitions.
Cuba and North Korea have maintained diplomatic relations since August 1960, after Fidel Castro established a communist state on the Caribbean island.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez received his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho, in Havana on Wednesday. Reports state that both the diplomats, during the meeting, rejected America's approach of using "coercive measures" as a means to resolve political tensions across the world.
The Cuban foreign minister released a statement, saying: The top ministers "strongly rejected the unilateral and arbitrary lists and designations established by the US government which serve as a basis for the implementation of coercive measures which are contrary to international law."
The Cuban minister also said that their countries' sovereignty should be respected and called for a peaceful settlement of disputes and "non-interference in internal affairs."
The ministers particularly stressed on their concerns of an increased US military activity and presence near the Korean peninsula.
"The situation on the Korean Peninsula is worsening and is tense because of the increased use of military forces by the imperialists," the Pyongyang minister told Rodriguez during their meeting, according to Xinhua.
While, Rodriguez said that the nuclear issue in Asia can only be resolved through diplomatic dialogue and not a show of force. "Cuba pleads for peace and political stability on the Korean peninsula," he said.
Recibe canciller de #Cuba??, #BrunoRguez, a su homólogo de #CoreaDelNorte??, Ri Yong-ho: Se consolidan las relaciones de cooperación y amistad entre ambas naciones, legado de los líderes históricos #FidelCastro y Kim Il-sung https://t.co/zyrhN8HOnn│Vía @Granma_Digital pic.twitter.com/R9zNtnXAUl— Cancillería de Cuba (@CubaMINREX) November 22, 2017
Tensions between the US and North Korea have escalated as the leaders of the two countries have been locked in a bitter war of words. The situation worsened after Donald Trump, during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), vowed to annihilate North Korea if it posed any threat to the US and its allies, and called the Pyongyang leader "rocket man" on a suicide mission.
The US on Tuesday designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, as the move would allow Washington to impose further sanctions on the Korean state.
Washington's relations with Havana have also deteriorated ever since Trump assumed the presidency. The Trump administration had recently announced changes in its policy to roll back Barack Obama's rapprochement strategy towards the island nation.
"We have strengthened our Cuba policies to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military and to encourage the government to move toward greater political and economic freedom for the Cuban people," US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had said earlier this month.